The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 44


By Khurram Ali Shafique

More than halfway through the forest of the Marching Bell is the tomb of Iqbal’s mother.

In Memoriam

Flashbacks from Iqbal’s childhood depict his tremendous grief at the recent death of his mother, but he also arrives at a conclusion: life is so dear to Nature that it has given every organism the instinct of survival. It shall not grant death an eternal sway over life. There has to be resurrection.

The earthly part of him born of a mother is going to rest at her tomb. A new self, acquired through Rumi, will live on because the very next poem coincides with the beginning of Secrets and Mysteries.

The Ray of Hope

“I am the message of awakening from the world-illuming sun,” a ray of the Sun says to Iqbal, who has become impatient with a desire to see the inner nature of things. “I shall show humanity the things that were kept hidden by the night.”

This is how the prelude of Secrets and Mysteries started. It was daybreak when you entered the Garden and Iqbal’s tears had beautified Nature. His mother’s tomb is the spot where the uphill track of his personal journey leads back into the Garden of Poetry.

You have covered Iqbal’s personal journey and are now in the Garden again. A meadow nearby is surrounded by guideposts from the past: little poems about sages, prophets and poets of the past. “I have heard that this place is ruled by the Flower Princess whose very footprints could turn a desert green,” a dewdrop says to a bud. “Please take me to her sometime.”

The bud replies, “You cannot come, since your nature is given to falling down and our Princess is of an exalted status. Still, you may reach her by becoming a tear in the eye of someone who has suffered, for she turns such tears into pearls by looking at them.”

The music of spheres is heard and the evening star declares that dawn itself bows down to the night on which the Prophet journeyed to heavens and came back.


  • The incident of Miraj, when the Prophet visited the heavens, has been a formative element in the worldview of Islam. Is it significant that the evening star has alluded to it just when Iqbal is about to lay down the foundations of the gigantic structure that shall become his Garden of Poetry?

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The tomb of the Poet’s mother marks the point where the extended track of his personal discoveries leads back into the Garden.
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